We have now completed five separate research studies examining the efficacy of the BRAVE-ONLINE Program for children and adolescents.

Please see below for summaries of these studies.

Study 1: Clinic-based therapy versus partial internet therapy

Spence, S. H., Holmes, J. M., March, S., & Lipp, O. V. (2006). The Feasibility and Outcome of Clinic Plus Internet Delivery of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Childhood Anxiety.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology , 74(3), 614-621.

In our first study, we compared a combined clinic and internet-based CBT program to the same program delivered entirely in the clinic. We found that children (aged between 7 and 14 years) receiving both the standard clinic treatment and the combined clinic-internet treatment improved significantly following treatment and were more likely to be free of their anxiety diagnoses, compared to children not receiving the treatment program. Improvements were maintained at 12-month follow-up for both therapy conditions, with no significant differences in outcomes between the clinic and internet programs.

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Study 2: The efficacy of a CBT intervention for child anxiety delivered entirely via the internet

March, S., Spence, S.H., & Donovan, C.L. (2009). The Efficacy of an Internet-based CBT Intervention for Child Anxiety Disorders. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34(5):474-487.

Our second study evaluated a version of the BRAVE Program delivered entirely via the internet. Following treatment, children receiving BRAVE-ONLINE showed greater improvements in symptoms of anxiety than those not receiving the intervention. By 6 months following the completion of therapy, 75% of children receiving BRAVE-ONLINE were free of their primary anxiety diagnosis and also showed significant improvements in anxiety symptoms, severity and overall functioning.

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Study 3: A comparison of an online and clinic-based CBT program for adolescents with anxiety disorders

Spence, S. H., Donovan, C. L., March, S. Gamble, A., Anderson, R. E., Prosser, S., & Kenardy, J. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of online versus clinic-based CBT for adolescent anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 6290.

Our third study involved the development of a full internet intervention for adolescents (aged 12-17 years). In this study, we found that adolescents receiving BRAVE-ONLINE demonstrated similar improvements in anxiety symptoms and loss of diagnosis compared to adolescents receiving individual, face-to-face therapy, with almost 80% being free of their primary anxiety problem 12-months following the completion of the program.

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Study 4: A parent-only, internet-based intervention for preschool anxiety

Donovan, C. L., & March, S. (2014). Online CBT for preschool anxiety disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 58: 24-35

This study investigated the use of BRAVE-ONLINE as a  therapist assisted program for parents of preschoolers (aged 3-6 years) with anxiety disorders. Children whose parents completed the program showed  significant improvements in anxiety symptoms and overall functioning, as well as a reduction in symptom severity compared to children whose parents did not complete the program. Over 70% of children  whose parents completed BRAVE were free of their anxiety problem 6-months after completing the program.

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Study 5: Large-Scale Dissemination of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Youth Anxiety: Feasibility and Acceptability Study. 

This study examined the effects of Brave-Online when it was offered on a fully self-help basis in a national program across Australia. At the time of publication of this paper over 4400 anxious children and adolescents had signed up for Brave-Online showing that it was certainly feasible to offer the program on a large-scale basis. Those young people who completed the three or more sessions showed significant reductions in anxiety, with the improvements being greater for those who completed 6 or more sessions. The feedback from participants was positive and the program was acceptable to most young people. The next challenge is to identify ways of increasing engagement so that more young people complete the sessions.

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